Loring Wine Company was started by Brian Loring, who has written that “my obsession is Pinot Noir.” Located in Lompoc, on the Central Coast, Loring produced its first commercial vintage in 1999. Loring sources its grapes from Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, the Santa Lucia Highlands, the Sonoma Coast, the Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley in Oregon. He makes only about 3,000 cases annually and is best known for his Pinot Noir, though he also makes Chardonnay. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Loring’s wines “intensely fruity, soft, consumer-friendly Pinots…”
Carneros AVA, also known as Los Carneros, is at the southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys at the top of the San Francisco Bay. The 8,000 vineyard acres are mostly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which thrive in the district’s cool, marine climate. Carneros became an AVA in 1983 and it has attracted foreign wine companies along with local producers. It has been especially appealing to European producers of sparkling wines including the giant Spanish cava producers Codorniu and Frexinet, and the French Champagne house Taittinger. Codorniu in Carneros is called Artesa, and Frexinet’s Carneros brand is Gloria Ferrer. Taittinger calls its Carneros winery Domaine Carneros. The European producers also make still wines in Carneros.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.